Afternoon tea is such a great British tradition but there’s only a few places in London that you can enjoy the treat with view of the city’s beautiful skyline. Aqua Shard is one such place, and not only are the views incredible, the food is excellent too.
Ceilings soar above the seating area and the windows extend right from bottom to top so that you’re totally surrounded by a wraparound view of London from the restaurant’s 31st floor location.
I think we had one of the best seats in the house from which was could see the River Thames, the Walkie Talkie, The Gherkin and St Pauls Cathedral. The interiors of the restaurant are classic with comfortable chairs with the Aqua logo etched in the back – cool and chic but nothing detracts too much from the epic views.
The Classic Champagne Afternoon starts with a glass of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Brut, served here and at Hutong it’s a fantastic champagne that is symbolic of the famous house.
Our lovely server offered my sister, who is eight months pregnant, a refreshing mocktail made from passion fruit and came with a delicious dusting of icing sugar and fresh fruit.
Soon our afternoon tea tower arrived fully stocked with utterly scrumptious treats.
As someone who eats afternoon tea far more often that I should, I’m always keen to have something than the usual finger sandwiches. Aqua Shard definitely ticked that box for me by providing a very different assortment to the usual. We were both big fans of the Lambton and Jackson Maldon cured smoked salmon with dill creme fraiche in a brioche bun and I could have definitely had two of these though I thought wise to save room for cake. The native lobster and smoked lobster mayonnaise in a finger sandwich was a delectable classic with a perfectly fresh filling.
Sauteéd spinach and Innes goats cheese mini quiche was great as something a little different and my sister absolutely loved the Cannon and Cannon black pudding and sausage roll with Yorkshire chutney.
I think the the scones are often the most anticipated course, and wow did they deliver. Super fluffy on the inside and slightly chewy on the outside, we loved both the vanilla and the white chocolate chip varieties – even better were the accompaniments of homemade toffee, raspberry jam and Cornish clotted cream.
Those with a sweet tooth will love the fact that there’s not one, but two layers of delicious pastries. I love the zesty lemon curd on hazelnut sponge with a teeny touch of meringue and the white chocolate mousse incased in blood orange gel on an almond macaron was heavenly. As we enjoyed these treats we sipped herbal teas from the Rare Tea Company – luxurious teas sourced from around the world. My wild silver tip from China is apparently the most prized of the white teas and is high in antioxidants and low in caffeine while Jen’s Wild Rooibus was the perfect soothing choice for a pregnant lady.
The final plate was the best and the marmite milk chocolate with rose raspberry jelly and pistachio crunch is just the kind of dessert I love, I fantastic combination of textures and flavours plus I loved the idea of squeezable pipette.
The porcini ganache in a chocolate cup included this cute chocolate mushroom growing out of a rich, dense coffee sponge – perfect for chocoholics!
We seriously loved our tea at Aqua Shard and with fantastic food, excellent service and breath-taking views it’s a hard one to beat!
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